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Soccer-Jol sacked by Fulham after six defeats in a row

Reuters

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LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Martin Jol's two-year spell as Fulham manager ended on Sunday after the Dutchman proved unable to reverse the club's sinking fortunes.

Dutchman Jol was sacked and recently-appointed coach Rene Meulensteen put in charge of the first team following a run of five consecutive Premier League defeats and six in all competitions.

Fulham have won only three league games all season and are currently in freefall having sunk to 18th in the table following Saturday's 3-0 loss at West Ham United.

"Our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better," Fulham chairman Shahid Khan said in a statement.

Jol had predicted last week that his future could hinge on the visit to Upton Park and the team's meek surrender left his job dangling by a thread.

"With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary," added Khan.

"Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation."

The club have a startlingly poor defensive record, conceding 24 goals in 13 games this season, with only Sunderland, who sacked their manager Paolo Di Canio in October, matching that figure.

They had shipped 12 of those goals in their last four games, having also conceded three against Manchester United and four against Liverpool at the start of November.

Jol, 57, replaced Mark Hughes as Fulham manager in 2011 after spells at Tottenham Hotspur, Hamburg SV and Ajax Amsterdam.

He is the third managerial change in the Premier league this season after Di Canio left Sunderland and Ian Holloway departed Crystal Palace in September.

Fellow Dutchman Meulensteen was initially recruited to work alongside Jol at the start of November.

The 49-year-old spent 11 years working under Alex Ferguson during two spells at Manchester United and had previously been linked with the managerial post at Fulham's London Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.

His last job before joining Fulham was in Russia in July at Anzhi Makhachkala, whom he joined as assistant coach to fellow Dutchman Guus Hiddink.

However, Hiddink left the club two games into the season after which Meulensteen lasted only 16 days as manager.

He will take charge of the team for Wednesday's Premier League match against Tottenham at Craven Cottage.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; editing by Ed Osmond)

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